Last week, we began a new mini-series entitled “Canon Fodder” with one of our newest 343 Industries writers, GrimBrother One. In the coming weeks, he’ll be taking a look at the stories and events contained in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. If you’d like to catch the intro, head over to last week’s Bulletin. This week, we’re kicking things off by looking at events surrounding the discovery of Installation 04. Take it away, Grim.
Last week, we took a look back at the opening days of the Halo Conflict, covering events that take place largely in Halo: Combat Evolved. Today, we catch back up shortly after the Master Chief and Cortana are introduced to one of the most pivotal figures in the franchise, 343 Guilty Spark, monitor of Installation 04.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2552
343 Guilty Spark convinces the Master Chief that in order to stop the Flood, he must activate Halo, an act only accomplished by acquiring the Index from the center of the Library. The Master Chief procures the Index and is transported back to the control room with Guilty Spark. Before he activates the Halo however, Cortana halts the process and divulges the true purpose of the ring: to destroy all sentient life, thereby starving the Flood. After escaping Guilty Spark and destroying critical pulse generators which would hinder the Halo’s activation, the Chief and Cortana head to a lone Covenant battlecruiser to acquire the captain’s neural interface from the parasitic remnants of Keyes’ Flood-infected body in order to detonate the UNSC Pillar of Autumn’s fusion reactors.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2552
After commandeering a Covenant Banshee to return to the Autumn, the Master Chief and Cortana discover that 343 Guilty Spark has followed them there. The monitor freezes the self-destruction sequence, forcing the Spartan to physically crack the engines in order to destabilize the fusion reactor. Once successful, the Chief and Cortana manage to get to a UNSC Longsword fighter and escape the violent destruction of the ring. In the aftermath of the explosion, they scan the debris field and eventually find a small band of UNSC survivors (Sergeant Major Johnson, Lieutenant Elias Haverson, Corporal Locklear, Warrant Officer Sheila Polaski and even the cryotube-encased body of Spartan Linda-058) aboard a Pelican. Through a series of risky maneuvers, the Master Chief manages to get all of the survivors aboard the Longsword and eventually take control of the Covenant carrier Ascendant Justice, using its impressive slipspace capabilities to quickly return to Reach.
If perhaps you’ve only played the games, those last few details might not seem that familiar to you. If you find your curiosity piqued, you should absolutely check out Halo: First Strike, an awesome novel by Eric Nylund that takes place in between the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. It’s a great place to learn more about what was happening in the universe right after the destruction of Alpha Halo, as well as get the answers to questions that might have come up while playing the games. After all, didn’t everyone want to know how Sargent Major Johnson survived the first game? If you pick up the 2010 re-issue of Halo: First Strike, you’ll also be treated to a few extra bits of very intriguing additions to the fiction at the end of the book. In fact, First Strike’s ancillary additions in particular contains some details that are even more relevant to the current state of the Halo universe, and maybe even certain things to come.
Hope you’ll stick with us as we continue to dive deeper into the countless stories scattered across the galaxy. Until next time…
And with that, this week's Bulletin comes to a close.
Be prepared for a change of scenery on Monday. We’ll see you then.